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Posts Tagged ‘ New Orleans Saints ’

NFL: Broncos Falter As Patriots And Seahawks Seek Top Seeds

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Week sixteen of the NFL regular season is now behind us, and we have a good idea of how the playoffs are shaping up. Many of the floundering hopefuls and wannabes have been put out of the race now, failing to last pace with the true contenders. This was a weekend of big moves for many, with several clinching playoff berths over the weekend. Big plays and big stops were in abundant supply with seasons on the line, and there is plenty to look back fondly on. Let’s review the action here.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (35-6)

A top-of-the-table clash between NFC West powerhouses that will both be playing post-season football descended into a blowout quite early on here. The Seattle Seahawks had a dominant road win here, claiming the top seeding in the NFC conference standings in the process. The Seahawks were taking on a team ravaged by injuries, but to hold a playoff side to six points on their home turf is a phenomenal effort. The Legion of Boom is back in full force, but the offense was equally as impressive, with Marshawn Lynch running all over a top run defense, while Russell Wilson knitted offensive series’ together with some fine play from under center. Luke Willson emerged as a big target at tight end, gaining 139 yards and two touchdowns to effectively end the game. With Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin making big plays too, the offense is getting coherent. If the Seahawks beat the St Louis Rams in the season finale, they will claim the NFC’s top seed. It seems a long time ago now that Seattle appeared to be in mid-season crisis mode. Continue reading

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NFL: Crucial Penultimate Fixtures For Playoff Chasers

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We have reached the penultimate round of fixtures in the NFL season. This has been a season of big winners and bad losers, with few sides hovering around 7-7 mark. That will ensure some teams will miss the post-season, despite boasting significant winning records and great seasons. With five divisions left to be decided, as well as all four wild-card spots still up for grabs, the onus is on all contenders to win out and make sure they aren’t the most pitied team in football. Let’s look ahead to the week sixteen action.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals still take up top spot in the NFC West, despite the unfathomable number of star players of theirs who have gone down injured. The expectation is that, surely, this Cardinals team’s indefatigable spirit will finally be overcome now that even backup quarterback Drew Stanton is out. With Ryan Lindley not exactly a sure-fire winner, and a ferocious defense licking their lips waiting to face him, the Cardinals are expected to bow gracefully out of the top spot and settle for their wild-card place. But that is not the style of Bruce Arians’ side. Sure, there 12-6 win over the St Louis Rams wasn’t pretty, but they ground out the win. Todd Bowles’ defense keeps generating success on the blitz, and they have found a breakout running back in Kerwynn Williams, who has added 175 yards in the last two weeks. Put up similar numbers here, and Arizona will be right there. Easier said than done, however. Continue reading

NFL: Playoff Race Heats Up

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The NFL slate of fixtures is getting more and more impressive every week. As we head into week eleven of the regular season, opportunities for wins over rivals are getting more and more precious, with a victory over either a divisional or conference challenger a serious blow to their hopes of overtaking you. With seemingly every team in and around .500 still in with a serious shot of making the post-season, there are plenty of battles between contenders ahead. This weekend sees five contests between sides with winning records. There is some great football coming up, so lets preview it here. Continue reading

NFL: Cowboys Reign In London

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Week ten of the NFL season is now over, and it was a dramatic weekend dominated by fourth quarter comebacks. Perhaps that is to be expected when a host of games pitted contenders against contenders. There was plenty of back and forth games, as well as the few big shocks that are now to be expected with the end of the regular season in sight. Everyone is still jockeying for position, and the intensity is only growing. With the hits getting harder and each play more and more crucial, lets take a look back at the week ten action.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks ( 17-38)

The Seattle Seahawks move on to a 6-3 record, but they had to work for this one.  They were a little scatty in the first half, going in trailing 17-14 at the half. Yet they had seen, through a series of Russell Wilson keep-and-run plays that the defense wasn’t being disciplined in protecting the outside channels. Wilson gashed the defense for four big plays in a couple of first half minutes. This set the scene nicely for Marshawn Lynch to pummel that defense in the second half, as he ran for 140 yards and four touchdowns on just 21 attempts. Wilson also went over a hundred on the ground, but looked less sure throwing the ball, giving up two interceptions. The defense played ok, but is clearly missing the injured Kam Chancellor, amongst others. Continue reading

NFL: Final London Game of 2014

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We are firmly ensconced in the home stretch of the 2014 NFL regular season. Entering week ten, every team has now played at half of their games.  The playoff race is heating up, and with a number of divisions in both conferences having at least two strong teams, it’s quite likely that a big win total will be needed to play January football,  even as a wild card. The very best teams are also trying to cling onto the number one seedings, which would guarantee them home field advantage. Things are getting intense now. Let’s look ahead to this week’s action, which includes the third London game of the year.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have gotten back to winning football games. They are currently on a two game winning streak, having overcome the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders in recent weeks. Neither victory was by more than one score though, and those are not the amongst the strongest teams in the league this season. The Seahawks passing attack is ranked thirtieth in the league,  which is a big part of their offensive malaise. They are second in rushing, leaving Seattle with an offense that is totally off kilter.  Pete Carroll’s side like to run the ball, but they are not making the devastating play action passes that helped them succeed last year. Still, at 5-3, they are starting to build up some momentum, and that defense is playing tough once again. Continue reading

NFL: Cardinals And Saints Make Big Moves

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Week eight of this topsy turvy NFL season is now confined to the record books. It was a crazy week, where the Atlanta Falcons did their best to steal the show in the London game, before being pegged back late by the Detroit Lions. The Dallas Cowboys choked badly on Monday Night Football, losing to that division’s whipping boys. And the New York Jets quarterback pair combined for a whopping six turnovers between them, sending them spiralling towards the fight for the no.1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Yet there was so much more action, so let’s recap it here.

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals (20-24)

The Arizona Cardinals pulled out yet another big win here. Carson Palmer obliterated the secondary, with big help from Larry Fitzgeral (160 yards and a touchdown) and John Brown (119 yards and a touchdown). The run game was unspectacular, with Andre Ellington notching one big run, but losing a fumble and not finding too many big holes. Still, he did enough to open things up for Palmer, who duly took advantage. The Cardinals won the fourth quarter 10-3, which was the difference in the end. Winning the fourth has been a very good habit Bruce Arians team have gotten into. It’s hard to totally shut down Chip Kelly’s offense, but Jeremy Maclin’s big day will be a worry for the Cardinals. Continue reading

The NFL London Franchise Conundrum

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This weekend will see the struggling Atlanta Falcons take on the high flying Detroit Lions. It is a big fixture for both these sides, who each need the win. The Falcons are 2-5, but still somehow remain in contention for the NFC South crown. The Lions are leading the way in the NFC North, but only by a tie breaker over the Green Bay Packers.

Yet that introduction completely misses the biggest aspect of this particular clash. The venue will be Wembley in London, England. It is the second of three games to be played in London this year, as the NFL looks to increase its market and potential abroad. The London series has been a fixture since 2007, and this is the first year that three games have been played there. But what are the long term future plans for the NFL in London? Continue reading

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